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Windows EHD Nightmare

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I have a 4TB My Book External Hard Drive I keep all my Music, Pics, Document, Movies, Downloads, etc on. Everything I never want to lose. Sunday I did my monthly computrer cleanup with Ccleaner, ran Malwarebytes, etc and defragged with Defraggler. I seen that my EHD was pretty fragged so Monday before work, I set Defraggler to defrag it and when I got home, it was done but now everything looks corrupt. Nothing will open. I ran chkdsk /r and it finds a ton of bad sectors but never repairs, just hangs eventually and times out. I cannot lose this stuff so;

 

1. what is the best way to fix bad sectors or can they BE fixed? I d/l'd Glary Utilities but haven't tried it yet. When I open it, I don't see the drive listed, but chkdsk probably has it locked still until I reboot. Also, I noticed that drive is set to exFAT32. I never noticed or I would have reformatted it to NFSC when I first bought it. Or does that not matter?

 

2, are the files ruined? If I buy another EHD and copy everything over, will they be OK, do you think?

 

3, should I reboot of a command prompt (If I can figure out how on Win10) and try Chkdsk /r that way? 

 

Anything else I should try?

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I have a 4TB My Book External Hard Drive I keep all my Music, Pics, Document, Movies, Downloads, etc on. Everything I never want to lose. Sunday I did my monthly computrer cleanup with Ccleaner, ran Malwarebytes, etc and defragged with Defraggler. I seen that my EHD was pretty fragged so Monday before work, I set Defraggler to defrag it and when I got home, it was done but now everything looks corrupt. Nothing will open. I ran chkdsk /r and it finds a ton of bad sectors but never repairs, just hangs eventually and times out. I cannot lose this stuff so;

 

1. what is the best way to fix bad sectors or can they BE fixed? I d/l'd Glary Utilities but haven't tried it yet. When I open it, I don't see the drive listed, but chkdsk probably has it locked still until I reboot. Also, I noticed that drive is set to exFAT32. I never noticed or I would have reformatted it to NFSC when I first bought it. Or does that not matter?

 

2, are the files ruined? If I buy another EHD and copy everything over, will they be OK, do you think?

 

3, should I reboot of a command prompt (If I can figure out how on Win10) and try Chkdsk /r that way? 

 

Anything else I should try?

Boot into Linux and mount the hdd and take a look at the files there.

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About Hanging Chkdsk sessions, one site says 

 

"1] The best suggestion I have to give is hang on and let it run. It may take a couple of hours, but given time, it it is known to complete in most cases. If need be, leave it overnight and let it run its course."  A long run may mean that there is a lot of work to do.  :(

 

Since you ran it and stopped it, you might as well run it again...I think.

 

You could try making an disk image of that filesystem before you try anything else, but you would need another EHD and disc-imaging software.

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About Hanging Chkdsk sessions, one site says

 

"1] The best suggestion I have to give is hang on and let it run. It may take a couple of hours, but given time, it it is known to complete in most cases. If need be, leave it overnight and let it run its course." A long run may mean that there is a lot of work to do. :(

 

Since you ran it and stopped it, you might as well run it again...I think.

 

You could try making an disk image of that filesystem before you try anything else, but you would need another EHD and disc-imaging software.

Yep in the past (although it was Windows XP so quite some time ago) I had to leave chkdsk run for 14 hours to recover only a handful of bad sectors.. it's worth leaving it to run.

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About Hanging Chkdsk sessions, one site says 

 

"1] The best suggestion I have to give is hang on and let it run. It may take a couple of hours, but given time, it it is known to complete in most cases. If need be, leave it overnight and let it run its course."  A long run may mean that there is a lot of work to do.  :(

 

Since you ran it and stopped it, you might as well run it again...I think.

 

You could try making an disk image of that filesystem before you try anything else, but you would need another EHD and disc-imaging software.

Yeah, I did a reboot, ran Glary Utilities and it's been running for about 24 hours now, Looks like it fixed somethings, but still on checking free space

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Boot into Linux and mount the hdd and take a look at the files there.

I do have Mint installed on my D: Drive buit when I reformatted the C: Drive last month, I lost either the Grub or the Boot option to get to Linux. I haven't tried to restore it yet, but I need to.. or just reinstall it again so it sets itself up. I'd do it manually with Easy BCD but I'm not sure how

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Yep in the past (although it was Windows XP so quite some time ago) I had to leave chkdsk run for 14 hours to recover only a handful of bad sectors.. it's worth leaving it to run.

Once this is done, I think I'm going to buy a 2nd EHD and back up all my backups. system images, etc to that one

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Once this is done, I think I'm going to buy a 2nd EHD and back up all my backups. system images, etc to that one

Highly advisable. Always have a backup drive purely for backups and not shared for storage!

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Highly advisable. Always have a backup drive purely for backups and not shared for storage!

I'm getting a little concerned. chkdsk was on 72% when I got up 5 hours ago and hasn't moved

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I'm getting a little concerned. chkdsk was on 72% when I got up 5 hours ago and hasn't moved

Ignore the percentage entirely. When looking at bad sectors it could do 99% of your disk really easy then struggle a lot on that last section because it's badly corrupted.. it will get through it eventually (even if it can't recover some parts)

Edited by Chuckun

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Ignore the percentage entirely. When looking at bad sectors it could do 99% of your disk really easy then struggle a lot on that last section because it's badly corrupted.. it will get through it eventually (even if it can't recover some parts)

OK man, but 2 more hours hasn't moved and still showing the same number of clusters processed - no change there either

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See the next post for the "Voice of Experience"
 

Once this is done, I think I'm going to buy a 2nd EHD and back up all my backups. system images, etc to that one

 
As my head hit my pillow, I had the thought that you might wan to avoid writing to disk until you run a SMART-checking utility.  A modern OS should have that built-in, I think.
 
Then consider using the Recuva program https://www.piriform.com/recuva from the maker of DeFraggler.  It should just read from your EHD and not try to write anything to it.  That could be used to try to save as much as possible to another storage device.
 
==============
 
I recently came across a YouTube video that stated that 90% of "failed EHDs" that are thrown out are because of failed USB-to-SATA cards inside the EHD housing.  They can be replaced. Before trying to find a card, you could open up the case and plug a USB-to-Sata adaptor cable into the HD and see if it will copy.  Actually, you could remove the HD from the case and install it into your Desktop and test it that way.
 
BTW, just because the errors happened after you ran DeFraggler does not mean that the program caused the problem.  It may have done a lot of disk read/writes and just "exposed" the problem, which would have happened eventually anyway.  
 
I am paying for an online backup service now and have lazily abandoned my local EHD backups, it seems.  :(

Edited by RedBaird
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4TB WD are Blue or Green drives now a days. That's why people getting RED Drives of 8TB one. Never ever de-fragment external hard drive. More or less new 4TB models have mounted chip, so you can't remove hard drive from case and make it work. So any recover options are gone if hard drive is done. 

 

My suggestion - Onetime investment on NAS and put 2 RED drives in RAID 1. Then have one external hard drive back up to back up NAS. Yes if data is of that much imp. 

 

Now in your case - As someone mentioned boot in linux and copy old hard drive to new one. Bad sectors don't get copied. Once u get bad sectors, send for RMA if in warranty or trash the hard drive cos it becomes tick tock bomb. That's why I change server machines every 4 years mostly. Got to cough up more but so far no crazy downtime's except one time. 

 

My experience says chckdisk and all nothing will help for external hard drive ones. Take back up through Linux and call it a day. So far it never helped me. Lost 3 hard drives like that. Using NAS now and will never go back. 

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I had a tutorial in progress that I lost regarding lost/corrupted data, failing drives and data recovery. I need to rewrite it.

 

In the future, never ever run chkdsk first thing if you find files missing. The first thing you'd want to do would be to check the SMART status of the drive. Whether it's bad sectors or miswrites caused by software, SMART will collect those statistics. For software issues, chkdsk is usually fine... but for hardware issues chkdsk is a waste of time while the drive is breathing it's dying breaths, and frequent read/write cycles can exasperate the problem.

 

I will write this tutorial, but my basic recommendations for now would be the following:

​-SMART Status check

-GNU DDrescue to write an image to a known good drive. Skip bad sectors on your first pass. Set sector retry and directional flags on your second and third using the same image and logfile to rescue as much data as you can.

-Mount the image using a loop flag and use Testdisk to recover any lost or damaged partitions. (Gparted and other GUI based partition tools can also make good guesses to reconstruct a broken filesystem)

-Now copy the data to a physical disk

-Boot Windows and use chkdsk (with /r flag) to restore any lost or corrupted data now that the data is on a safe drive
-Pray.

​As a suggestion, I would recommend using software to keep track of your disk's statistics. Whether it's freeware like CrystalDiskInfo or paid like HD Sentinel, it is worthwhile. I hardly paid attention to such software until I thought my primary 1TB drive might be dying. Downloaded HD Sentinel and used it for monitoring. Month or so later, I get a warning of accumulating bad sectors on my 3TB media drive. Day after I do a full backup it failed (loud as f*** head crash too). Paid for the software license the next day- it saved my ass. I was also alerted to the failure of my 1TB drive a year and a half later, which also subsequently failed after I backed up the data. 

​One more edit; If chkdsk is still running, cancel it now. Use ddrescue via a linux live cd. I can't post my tutorial right now because it got lost, but there's lots of great ones on the internet.

Edited by Xernicus
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OK, cool. my D: Drive is partitioned 100GB/400GB. The 400GB is Mint, which I think I'm going to wipe, add a smaller 50GB partition and install Ubuntu to that leaving 350GB free space for saving my data from the EHD.. I didn't really like Mint anyway. :( I just needed the 4TB EHD to last until spring when I get my taxes and can build, finally, my new Computer with all the newest good stuff in it.

 

In tghe meantime, I'l try the things you guys posted here. Thanks! 

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